GOD’S MANY FACES

Jesus Christ is now starring on the God channel, speaking from the grave in tongues and English, parables shining through the fog with colored lights and music. He broadcasts his message with satellites and stars to lands where Muhammad still speaks with sword and scimitar. Buddha can’t compete head-to-head with his non-message of middling accommodation between extremes of aggressive violence and aggressive entertainment. He communicates heart-to-heart with a message of non-aggression and reconciliation at all costs. The costs can be steep, payable in dignity and self-esteem, poverty and need. Some things just can’t be bought and some things just can’t be sold. Buddha picks a middle path through a maze of lotuses on one side and chrysanthemums on the other. Jesus can’t make up his mind between the conformists and the protesters. Muhammad tolerates no pussy footing. The Muslim Channel blares from loudspeakers five times a day in thirty some-odd (some VERY odd) countries. The middle path for Islam lies somewhere between a rocket launcher and a razor blade. The true middle path chooses no sides. If it doesn’t lead to eternal bliss, at least it leads to another tomorrow and an infinite, if indefinite, future. All paths lead to God.